1742

I am moving back to Paris.

My debts are paid to Francoise-Louise de Warens, my love, my provider, and my friend. She brought this move about: without her guidance and assistance in my learning I would never have grown so adept in music, and the childhood songs that were sung to me would have remained beautiful mysteries, entirely untouchable, not able to be re-created ever again.

I truly think that this is it: after so long, I will have succeeded in my task of finding an occupation. My apprenticeship as an engraver only brought me beatings and abuse, though I never deserved them. They had no right to treat me as less than worthy! Am I not a human being, just as they? The life of a apprentice, or even journeyman, was not for me.

I considered being a minister for the Protestant Church for a while: but when I ran from Geneva, my birthplace, a Roman Catholic priest took me in, and so I converted to Catholicism. All religions seem to have the same ideas, at the base of things, anyways: what difference does it make to which one I am part of? Either way, I will stay good to others and repent for my sins.

A convenient sample of a song in numbered musical notation, though this is not a song I've heard of before. Printed upon the back is a strange circular symbol, enscribed off to one side "Wikipedia".
A convenient sample of a song in numbered musical notation, though this is not a song I’ve heard of before. Printed upon the back is a strange circular symbol, enscribed off to one side “Wikipedia”.

So! Off to Paris it is for me, to the Academie des Sciences and to present my new product of numbered musical notation. If it is accepted, my success will be enough of a profession for me in the next couple of years. This numbered notation, as seen in asianmusical pieces, is far more versatile and makes it easier to teach notes of a scale and note intervals to those previously unlearned in music. It will also make printing music faster and easier, for it requires only the numbers and dots used on regular typewriters, instead of needing numerous lines and symbols uncommonly found on the printing devices.

I am not an unreasonable man: in fact, I am quite mild and reasoned. So I have a backup plan, so to speak, if this numbered notation does not meet favourably with the Academie des Sciences. Ever since my birth I have wondered at and the free yet unified militias of common people – they sing and dance and march about, and it is a wondrous sight to behold. I want to bring this idea of the people, held together by their general will, into a use for France. I am not sure yet how, but imagine if we were to form a society in the image of these militia – one where every man must do a part, but does so willingly as part of a greater whole?I do not know how this will bring me any revenue: it may not be a popular idea, especially with those the noblemen and clergy, who stand to lose more than gain from a such fair setup. For if there was to be a greater whole, a truly unified France, it would require everyone to take part in the decisions and everyone to take away an equal part of the profit. Each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will, and in return we receive every member as an indivisible part of the whole, so I write in my journaling, over and over. The king and nobles and clergy will only receive so much as the beggar, but be required to put in as much effort. Is it not fair? And yet, to say this, they say, is to disturb public rest and trouble our nation. My hometown was governed by a small group of wealthy families, very much like France is today. I know there are people there who would support this idea, for I grew up in a neighbourhood of craftsmen who often protested for the sovereignty of the people, to be ruled by the collective of us all.

Ah! Just as in my childhood I am still up too late, reading and writing and thinking. I must get myself to bed, and away with these mad, half-formed thoughts: for tomorrow I present the musical notation system, tomorrow I go to Paris.

 

 

Primary Source: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3913/3913-h/3913-h.htm